Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear wastes- South Australia as their National Toilet? – theme for January 2020

Australia, especially South Australia, is known for its clean energy, and clean agricultural produce.

We must not let that reputation become ruined, by letting Kimba, or any other rural region, become blighted with a nuclear toilet.

The Opal nuclear reactor in Lucas Heights/ Barden Ridge, Sydney, stores its wastes relatively safely in above ground containers. There they should stay, until eventually disposed of deep underground, as close as possible to the point of production.

Australia should stop producing nuclear wastes. ANSTO’s nuclear reactor keeps producing high level toxic wastes, while they pretend it’s a medical necessity. ( only a very small percentage of isotopes produced are used in Australia’s hospitals, and of these, only a tiny few are used to treat illness). Australia already has some cyclotrons, which produce medical radioisotopes, with no need for nuclear fission.

Australia especially South Australia, can lead the world in clean energy. South Australia can lead in clean green produce.

December 28, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, wastes | Leave a comment

ANSTO is lying to South Australians: nuclear medicine does NOT need a nuclear waste dump in Flinders Ranges – theme for January 2020

As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”   Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”  Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

“If the plan for a [South Australian] dump is defeated, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.” – Dr Jim Green

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

Ethics, Nuclear Power, and Global Heating – theme for December 2019

“Ethics” seems to be a dirty word in this strange era in which “Economics”, (i.e money) is apparently the only credible argument for taking any action.

Yet, now, under those truly awful shadows of a heating planet, and nuclear conflict, ethics might be our only sane guide.

What are ethics in relation to climate and nuclear issues?

Surely – ethical behaviour,  -behaving decently and honestly. In the face of these dire threats – this is the way to go.

Not that it’s easy. No-one wants to pay the price, – changed employment, lifestyle changes, increased taxes….

BUT – we have borrowed this world from our children, and great grandchildren.  We need to return it in good condition.

This means facing up to the reality of all the effects of climate change, the horrors of nuclear weapons, the environmental poison of ionising radiation.

And then – taking action on all levels, from the personal to global co-operation. A tall order?  It means plain, honest, speaking, just treatment of under-privileged groups and countries, taking investment out of dirty industries.

An impossible order? Perhaps, but it would be a shame not to try. Even in this period of ethically and often environmentally ignorant , narcissistic national leaders Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro, Scott Morrison …….still there are thousands of individuals and groups working for a clean and nuclear-free planet.

We don’t need to be taken in by the big words and twisted arguments of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries and their bought politicians and journalists. The facts on climate change are clear. The facts on nuclear dangers are clear.

Even the economic facts point us to climate action and to scrapping nuclear power and weapons. But surely, human beings can do better than that, and be guided by ethics.

December 21, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Ethics – Australia and the climate and nuclear threats

It would be funny, if it were not so serious. Australia, the continent already experiencing the effects of global heating, and with a government now contemplating starting the nuclear industry,  – seems to be sleeping on, in comfortable ignorance about what is happening.

We all know – it is dinned into us daily –  that it’s all about economics.( And sport).  All our actions are justifiable if they can be show to further economic growth.

Who dares mention ethics?

What if decisions and actions were determined by the principle of acting decently and truthfully?

Then politicians, academics, journalists and other opinion leaders would have to speak clearly in plain words, about bushfires, the Murray Darling rivers, floods, and pollution.  Then solutions would be chosen for environmental protection, and for the public good.  The public good would include our Pacific neighbours, and indeed, Australia’s role in the global community.

Of course, there would be costs –  changes in lifestyle, in employment, in our use of energy and other resources, in increased taxation. It would require fairness to disadvantaged groups, and to those most affected by extreme weather.

It’s about time that ETHICS came back into public thinking and action.

Australia is now led by a man who is ignorant of all but advertising and marketing slogans. Our politicians, obsessed with one aim, to keep their seats in Parliament, cannot be relied upon to understand the ethics of Australia’s situation – as the canary in the mine of climate and nuclear threats.

Still – there are thousands of Australians, especially indigenous Australians, and many groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation, and Friends of the Earth who do “get it”, and who lead the pressure on governments to really face up to these dangers.

November 28, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

International movement for a clean nuclear-free planet

It is all at last coming together – a movement that encompasses all those strains that are needed for a healthy world –  action for climate change, for clean water, clean air, indigenous justice, gender equality, respect for land, and the plants and animals that share this land, and freedom from the poisonous nuclear industry.

Extinction Rebellion is the latest, and most all-encompassing expression of public desire to turn things around – not only to stop the greenhouse gases that cause our heating climate, but the many other types of pollution and degradation of of the Earth’s air, water and land.

The toxic nuclear industry is trying to piggy back on this planet-saving international movement.

The tobacco industry has set the pattern for dirty industries to deceive the world.  Nuclear industry propaganda now symbolises the very worst lies in the pretence that a harmful industry is “clean”.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The Australian movement for a clean, non-nuclear world

Australia has a proud history of care for our environment. Aboriginals still lead the way in care for country – land, waterways, coasts, and plants and animals. Since European settlement there have always been naturalists and conservationists.   In the 20th Century environmental movements brought about national parks and political results – protection of species. the landcare movement, “Green Bans” and the world’s first Green Party –  United Tasmania Group.

Successful  movements included the protests against  the Franklin Dam project . The Wilderness SocietyAustralian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth– are leaders amongst the many environmental groups.  Thanks to the environmental movement, Australia has limited uranium mining, and avoided nuclear power. The Australian Greens continue the political fight.

But in the 21st Century , under Liberal Coalition governments, anti – environmentalism has prevailed in Australia. We now have a situation in which our precious major rivers are ailing, millions of fish dying, our forests being denuded, our native animals disappearing. Our current disgraceful government governs not for this country, but for corporate interests, especially the mining industry. Right now, it is being manipulated by the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies.

Still, people are not fooled. young people especially.  With the Extinction Rebellion movement, Australians join in the global campaign to save the climate, stop the nuclear industry, and turn around the corporate culture of destruction and pollution of the planet.

October 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Freedom of information and the nuclear industry – theme for October 19

The nuclear industry originated in lies, and in the barbaric culture of Nazism. Werner von Braun and at least 88 other Nazi scientists started working on inhuman weapons, including nuclear. Americans panicked and decided that a nuclear bomb was OK to develop.  With Japan about to surrender in 1945 Truman and the generals hastily tested the bomb out on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki, and the false story went out that this was necessary to end the war.

Faced with the horror of those two atrocities, the allies, including the Soviet Union, and the nuclear boffins, came up with the cover of “cheap” and “peaceful” nuclear energy, and the immoral and probably suicidal,  nuclear weapons race was on for all.[   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRLON3ddZIw  for page]

Over the decades, despite government and industry cover-ups, the cruel truth about the health and environmental harm from the nuclear industry has at times been revealed in the Western mainstream media.

But now, freedom of information is threatened as never before. The Internet may have enabled alternative media, sites like this one, and social media, to get their message out.  But that is very much a mixed blessing. At the same time, investigative journalists of the mainstream media are losing their jobs. And – disappearing with them are the fact checking, and quality editing.

Worst of all, now, when investigative journalists speak out, they face oppression.  in Russia, China they  risk “disappearing” – with long-held cultures of suppression of free speech.

Now in Western countries they risk life imprisonment.  Julian Assange is threatened with this, and UK and Australia are complicit in USA’s heavy-handed determination to “make an example” of him.

What has this all to do with the nuclear industry?

The nuclear weapons industry, immoral and potentially globally murderous,  has become an insanely expensive burden on the public purse.

The nuclear power industry is out-dated, unaffordable, dangerous, and wedded to nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, the media now regurgitates glowing handouts from the “new” and the old nuclear industry as “news”.  Journalists want to keep their jobs- it’s easier to tout rubbish  like “new nukes solve climate change”, than to offend government and powerful corporations by really seeking out and publishing the facts.   The governments’ persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsie Manning makes that subservient attitude the standard behaviour for journalists.

If we let America put away, disappear, and shut up Julian Assange  – well, who’s next?

 

October 7, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia: Freedom of Information and the Nuclear Industry- theme for October 19

Australia’s press freedom is under threat as never before.

It’s always been pretty bad, with Murdoch media controlling at least 70% of media outlets, and with Liberal governments trying to strangle the ABC,

But now –  it is at crisis point.  We have an Australian citizen, Julian Assange, held in solitary confinement in London, for the crime of skipping bail. UK and complicit Australia want to have him extradited to USA, to face life imprisonment for ‘treason”. What was his “treason”? Publishing the facts, revealed by Bradley Manning, on USA military atrocities. i.e. investigative journalism. (Manning also in prison)

We also have federal police raiding ABC offices and a journalist’s home. We have draconian security laws, and prosecutions of whistleblowers Richard Boyle, David McBride and Witness K.

Australia is fast developing a culture of press intimidation by government.

Has this anything to do with the nuclear industry?   Not obviously directly. Not yet.  But government and industry have always tried to see that the harms from uranium mining and nuclear bomb testing were covered up.  Few Australians would have heard of the long term push by some politicians and defence industry personnel, for nuclear weapons.

As  the global nuclear industry revs up its dishonest spin for “new nuclear”, and as climate change impacts this country, Australia is a sitting duck for the lie that “nuclear solves climate change”. And for the push for even more involvement in America’s nuclear weapons system. And for involvement in Trump’s Nuclear Weapons in Space programme.

We now have a government without any policy (unless you count “having a budget surplus” as a policy)   Scott Morrison can’t forever shout “How good is that?” about everything.  Journalists that criticise government actions are under scrutiny.  It doesn’t bode well for any public policy area. And that certainly includes matters nuclear.  more https://www.meaa.org/campaigns/press-freedom/

September 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

“Small” Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – the nuclear lobby’s latest confidence trick – theme for September 19

For a start – they’re not small.  Uneconomic to set up as individual reactors, these SMRs are now being marketed by NuScale in groups of 12 or more.

“SMR” is now touted as Small and Medium Reactors.

But they’re still uneconomic. – SO – taxpayers have to buy them, as nobody else will.

Why is the nuclear industry so desperate to sell them to governments?

Well, that’s because:

(a) SMRs are the last hope of the failing”peaceful” nuclear industry

(b) The thriving nuclear weapons industry needs the technology and expertise that can be developed in “small nuclear reactors”.  It’s easier to attract people to work in “peaceful nukes” – then they later can transition to the real nuclear industry – weapons.

September 7, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors and Australia’s laws prohibiting the nuclear industry – theme for September 19

The global nuclear lobby has one core aim for Australia. That is:

to overturn Australia’s Federal and State laws that prohibit the nuclear industry.

The current Federal Inquiry gives this game away in its very title:  Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia .  

At present the only prerequisite they care about is removing Australia’s Law Against Nuclear Actions.

Then they’ll be able to start removing similar State Laws , use public money to propagandise nuclear power, “win hearts and minds” – and get the nuclear industry ‘s full,chain ball rolling.

And Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?

The nuclear lobbyists and their lackeys in Parliament know full well that these new gimmicks are not economic, take many years to establish, while renewable energy and energy efficiency become ever cheaper and faster to set up.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors are just a distraction from the main game –  changing Australia’s laws.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics | Leave a comment

Remembering Hiroshima – the movement to end nuclear weapons – theme for August 19

The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now been signed by 70 nations, and ratified by 25. With this Treaty, the world recognises that nuclear weapons now have the same status as chemical and biological weapons – an inhumane and immoral method of dealing with conflict.

The world’s macho men, the hawks of both genders, the sociopathic leaders in business and politics can scoff, but with this Treaty comes a rational movement essential for the survival of humanity.

The  immoral squandering of public funds on nuclear weapons continues apace. benefiting only a few greedy corporate big-wigs, and their government lackeys.  Nuclear weapons are useless – there are no winners in nuclear wars, the only result – the unimaginable horror and pain of the people.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed what this is like.

The folly of the nuclear arms race continues – in the tensions in India, Pakistan, the Middle East, and all now led by the leaders of the most powerful nations.  Led by an irresponsible and unhinged US President Donald Trump,  they are scrapping the agreements on nuclear weapons control,   and feeding the greed of the weapons makers..

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Hiroshima, Nagasaki – Never Again Nuclear War! – theme for August 2019

This is perhaps the saddest photograph of the time of America’s August 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dignity of this boy, as he waits, with his small dead brother strapped to his back, to include the brother in a mass grave.

We know that the bombing of people is unethical, immoral, and simply wrong.

We know that chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction are inhumane and immoral. The global human society knows this, too, and they are illegal under the United Nations Ban –  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)  and United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW), or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. … As of 4 July 2019, 23 nations have ratified the treaty, and it was passed by 120 countries at the United Nations in July 2017.

The nuclear lobby, and the “hawks” may scoff, but this Treaty is clear evidence that the world is coming to see that considering the humanitarian effects of nuclear war, – the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.

The goal is the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Sounds too extreme to be taken seriously?   It is not as extreme as the goal of using them, which is still actively being considered by the Pentagon.

In July – commentators, politicians, journalists went ecstatic on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It’s rarely mentioned that USA’s original plan was to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon. It’s rarely mentioned in the current hype about Mars exploration, that the Trump administration’s plan is for nuclear weapons in space .

The humanitarian, the “emotional” side, of discussing nuclear weapons is now taken seriously, much as the nuclear proponents will pontificate about “strategy”, “security” etc. With the UN nuclear ban treaty –   nuclear weapons are no longer “respectable”, and are headed towards eventual elimination.

August 8, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Never Again Nuclear War – Australia’s role – theme for August 2019

Australia has long been part of the USA’s nuclear war strategy.  Pine Gap, USA’s secret facility in Central Australia, has since 1966 been  a centre for espionage and for co-ordination of US air strikes. It has been part of America’s “Star Wars” plan to put missiles into space. American congressmen have made $millions from their investments in Defense Department contracts in Pine Gap, and can tour Pine Gap.  But Australian Members of Parliament are denied entry.

Being part of the American nuclear war machine makes a hypocrisy out of Australia’s supposed posture against nuclear weapons.

As an exporter of uranium, Australia plays a key part in nuclear weapons. There are no effective safeguards against uranium being used for weapons,  – no real barrier between the “peaceful atom” and the “military atom”

The plan to buy French submarines, that could later be converted to nuclear submarines has been linked with the 2016 failed plan for an international nuclear waste dump , as Dan Monceaux has detailed in his submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry.

Another big worry is the apparent inability of Australia’s politicians, especially the ruling Liberal Coalition, to understand the contradictory position that they put us in. Enthusiastic support of USA’s militarism towards China, is a dangerous attitude for Australia to take, and most unwise, with China being our top trading partner.

With the Trump administration in USA, there’s a real danger of an attack on Iran.  With the Morrison government in Australia, there’s a real danger of Australia mindlessly signing up to this.

Meanwhile there’s a strong and growing movement supporting the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.  It was instigated in this country, and many are working towards Australia joining the 122 nations that have signed it.

 

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

In Australia, new Generation IV nuclear power intimately connected with nuclear weapons

A Parliamentary Committee  rubber stamped  an ANSTO plan for Australia to sign up to take part in developing new nuclear reactors – Generation IV reactors.

For a start, most Gen IV nuclear reactors require the input of plutonium or enriched uranium to operate. So Australia would have to import these before being able to operate the  new reactors. So already, with the transport of these highly radioactive materials, there’ s the risk of terrorism, of materials being stolen for weapons. The use of enriched uranium or plutonium in thorium fuel has proliferation implications.

This advanced involvement in the nuclear fuel chain makes it a logical and not too difficult step for the new reactors to provide the means for making nuclear bombs, including radiological weapons – “dirty bombs”. As well, the reactors themselves form an attractive target for terrorism, or enemy attack.

The nuclear lobby, and especially the South Australian nuclear zealots would see the next step for Australia as nuclear weaponry, however much they might mouth platitudes about non-proliferation. One example of their machinations is the $50 billion  on submarines, intended for nuclear later. As of 2016 the Liberal-National Coalition does not support a prospective ban on the possession of nuclear weapons.

South Australia is proudly called the Defence State, for its strong network of defence research and industry. Strong advocates for the nuclear industry in South Australia have always pushed for the full nuclear chain, and for South Australia to be a nuclear reprocessing hub.

From the very start, nuclear power in Australia was intended as the route to nuclear weapons, starting with  the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.

On Nov. 2, 1956, Australia’s Defense Committee formally recommended the acquisition of kiloton-range tactical nuclear weapons.  

In 1969, the government announced plans to construct a 500-megawatt nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay in New South Wales.

The intention was clear — this reactor was to support a nuclear weapons program.

In 2009 the nuclear weapons contractor Raytheon set up in Australia – Raytheon Australia’s Industry Development Unit (IDU).

Nothing has changed, except that the nuclear lobby has intensified its focus on South Australia.

 

 

July 20, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Energy efficiency the top answer for climate action: forget nuclear – theme for July 19

As the Northern hemisphere swelters, some people may ponder on old-fashioned, ‘boring’ ways of keeping cool.  It might not be many weeks before Australians again face exceptional heat.

But most will resort to (or wish they had) air-conditioning, probably powered by fossil fuels. To cut down greenhouse gases, solar-powered air conditioners are a better answer.

But, overall, energy efficiency is the fastest, most effective, and ultimately cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, renewable energy technologies are needed, too.

Energy conservation has little appeal for the corporate consumer world – less things, less devices, less electricity to sell.

The pro nuclear zealouts continue to preach their religion of endless growth, endless energy use. They would have us trash this planet with radioactive wastes, and then send a few suicidal astronauts , propelled by plutonium, supposedly to colonise Mars.

Energy efficiency involves many intelligent efforts, from large-scale design of buildings, transport and machines, to more appropriate use of human energy, such as cycling and walking, and even use of more hand-operated small clockwork devices.

This all does require brainwork, smart design, rather than mindless obedience to consumerism, and to centralised sources of electricity.

July 6, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment